Heigl may be best known to TV viewers as feisty humanoid alien
Isabel Evans on The WB's teen sci-fi drama "Roswell," but she
feels just as home out on the old prairie. If you have doubts
about that, just tune into Hallmark Channel on Saturday (Nov.
20), and see her in the TV movie "Love's Enduring Promise."
A sequel to the cable net's highly rated "Love Comes Softly"
-- also based on a book by writer Janette Oke -- the new movie
has Heigl reprising her role as frontier wife Marty Claridge
Davis, a former Easterner who lives in the American West of the
1800s with her husband, Clark Davis (Dale Midkiff). Clark's
daughter, Missie (January Jones), is now a young adult, and the
Davises have two sons of their own, Aaron and Arnie (K'Sun Ray,
While most of the storyline revolves around Missie's choice
between two suitors (Mackenzie Astin, Logan Bartholomew), Marty
must deal with the aftermath of an accident that leaves Clark
bedridden and in danger of death from infection.
Michael Landon Jr., son of "Little House on the Prairie" star
Michael Landon, is co-writer and director for the film, as it
was for its predecessor.
"I love working with Michael Landon," Heigl says. "He's
amazing. And I love the prairie life. I don't think I'd love it
24/7 with no water or electricity, but there's something really
peaceful and simple about it that I appreciate.
"You're out there surrounded by crew and cameras, but you can
get an idea of what it must have been like. It's so peaceful and
Heigl was also happy to be reunited with Midkiff, whose TV
credits include the science-fiction series "Time Trax" and the
short-lived Western "The Magnificent Seven."
"He's a really good guy," she says. "Cool guy, good actor. We
tease him a lot. When I do these projects with him, his
character is a very religious man and very sensitive, so he's
always praying or crying. Constantly there'd be these big
dinner-table scenes, and we'd be sitting around, saying, 'OK,
Pa, you're going to be cryin' or prayin', which is it?'"
Heigl has segued from teen star into adult roles, although
she admits, "I was 22 when 'Roswell' ended, and I just wanted to
play adults. Now that I'm almost 26, I'm like, 'I'll play a
teenager again. That'd be fine.'"
One thing Heigl doesn't seem to be able to shake is the name
Isabel, or variations thereof. After playing Isabel Evans, she
went on to play a character named Isabel in MTV's 2003 version
of "Wuthering Heights." At midseason, she'll be seen in the new
ABC medical drama "Grey's Anatomy," playing a doctor named
"At least it's spelled differently," Heigl says. "The other
day, I was having a big fight in a scene, and I had to scream
something. I yelled out 'Isabel Evans!' instead of 'Isobel
Stevens!' I don't get it at all. Maybe I was an Isabel in my